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What You MUST Know Before You Sign A Contractor

Aug 17, 2007
When it comes time to build a house or remodel one the most important thing you are going to do is choose the contractor. This person is going to either make or break the entire project because they are the ones in charge of the workers and the supplies. It is vital that you have a good contract in place because unfortunately not all contractors are made equal and you need to be protected just in case he or she makes a costly mistake.

You should have everything put into a contract when dealing with contractors, even things that do not seem like they would be important, you never know what you will need if things ever get to court. It is far better to be safe than sorry.

Here are some of the things that you should take into consideration when drawing up a contract with a contractor:

Deposit
Find out about how large of a deposit is necessary to get the contractor to agree to work on your home. You also need to find out if you will have to transfer the title. This occurs mostly when a new home is being built and if you can avoid this step then do so. Passing over the ownership of a home or lot is always risky.

Drop Dead Date
It never ceases to amaze how many contractors agree to do a job but then fail to show up. And I am not talking about just being late either, I mean they never show up. Since most contractors will insist upon getting a deposit up front before the job even starts it is important that you have it in the contract that you will get this deposit back if they do not come to work.

Inspections
If you are building a new home or getting a major overhaul done on yours you should be able to inspect the work whenever you want to. Many contractors will not want you to do this, avoid those kinds because you have to wonder what they are trying to hide. Have it put right there in writing that you can visit and inspect the process whenever you want to. It is your home after all.

Warranty
Find out and get it in writing just what will be covered in your contractor's warranty. Safety is key and some things do not show up at first glance, you will not notice some problems until you are living in the house again.
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